A will is a legally-binding document that allows you to personally establish how you would like your entire estate to be handled upon your untimely death. Many people know about it, but not many have it because they do not see the benefits of having one.
Why Is It Important?
Making a will gives you the final authority to decide where your assets will go. If you do not create one, the law will determine who gets what, and it may not be what you want.
For example, if you have a partner and children but are not legally married and pass away without writing a will, all of your estates will go to your blood relatives.
There are many reasons you need to have a will, but here are the top six reasons why having one is essential.
- It gives reassurance
If you expire without a will, there is no guarantee that the law will carry your deliberate wishes regarding your entire estate. Thus, having it is the only way to ensure that your savings and possession will go to the right people.
- Avoid family dispute
Disputes among relatives over inheritances are common. Especially if the estate of the person who passed away holds a considerable value, human greed can come into play. Therefore, to avoid such kinds of arguments and to retain peace among family members, making and leaving will prevent it.
Having a will can help minimise any fights within the family. This is because it determines the “who, what, and when” of your entire estate. However, there are times that close relatives and dependents may still file a claim on your estate. Thus, it’s essential to find help from a solicitor to resolve such issues.
- Create a trust for young or vulnerable beneficiaries
According to the law, if the beneficiary is a minor, they will only receive the inheritance once they reach the age of 18. So, if you want to have more control over how and when young and vulnerable beneficiaries can have access to their inheritance, you have two options.
First, you can create a will to specify the age when they can receive their inheritance. Or, you can build a flexible “discretionary” trust. These are useful, especially if the beneficiaries are not very good at managing money.
- Asset Protection for the next generation
Having a will creates a streamlined way of passing down assets within the family and on to the next generation. Especially if you are concerned if new spouses or second families may file a claim, having a well-structured will ensures that all the family members from the first and second families are looked after.
- Control over your “executors” and “trustees”
A will specifies who can administer the details of your estate. These individuals are called executors, and they ensure that all your affairs are in order, such as paying off bills, cancelling credit cards and notifying the bank and other business establishments you are connected with.
Part of their duty is to trace relatives in your will to ensure that the person you designated to administer your will can pay out your estate to the right people listed as beneficiaries.
However, it is worth noting that tracing beneficiaries and obtaining insurance to cover the possibility that they may fail to include a beneficiary who may file a claim in future will usually cost money. Therefore, it’s important to discuss these details with a trusted solicitor.
- Planning ahead
All assets must go through the probate process with or without a will. But having a will speeds up the process because it informs the court how you would like your estate to be divided.
Probate courts have one purpose, and that is to administer your estate when you pass away without a will. This is also known as dying intestate. When this happens, the court will decide how to divide your estate without your input. Unfortunately, this causes unnecessary delays, resulting in an extended probate process.
Another purpose of having a will is that it allows you to reduce your estate taxes. Therefore, the value of what you will leave to your family members or even charity will be minimized when it’s time to pay estate taxes.
You can draft a will in a way that will protect your assets from future issues such as the potential divorce or bankruptcy. You can also use it to compensate for the nursing care of your surviving spouse. In addition, you can use a will to put some of your assets in trust for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
There are so many benefits of having a will, and in reality, there are more than six reasons to have one.
It can be pretty overwhelming to plan and draft a will independently. So, to help you craft your wishes into a legal document, you can check out willstrustslpa.co.uk/services/why-is-making-a-will-important/ for more information.